The Oklahoma Portal
Oklahoma () is a state in the South Central region of the United States, bordered by the state of Texas on the south and west, Kansas on the north, Missouri on the northeast, Arkansas on the east, New Mexico on the west, and Colorado on the northwest. Located partially in the western extreme of the Upland South, it is the 20th-most extensive and the 28th-most populous of the 50 United States. Its residents are known as Oklahomans (or colloquially, "Okies"), and its capital and largest city is Oklahoma City.
The state's name is derived from the Choctaw words okla and humma, meaning "red people". It is also known informally by its nickname, "The Sooner State", in reference to the non-Native settlers who staked their claims on land before the official opening date of lands in the western Oklahoma Territory or before the Indian Appropriations Act of 1889, which increased European-American settlement in the eastern Indian Territory. Oklahoma Territory and Indian Territory were merged into the State of Oklahoma when it became the 46th state to enter the union on November 16, 1907.
With ancient mountain ranges, prairie, mesas, and eastern forests, most of Oklahoma lies in the Great Plains, Cross Timbers, and the U.S. Interior Highlands, all regions prone to severe weather. Oklahoma is on a confluence of three major American cultural regions and historically served as a route for cattle drives, a destination for Southern settlers, and a government-sanctioned territory for Native Americans. Twenty-five Native American languages are spoken in Oklahoma.
A major producer of natural gas, oil, and agricultural products, Oklahoma relies on an economic base of aviation, energy, telecommunications, and biotechnology. Oklahoma City and Tulsa serve as Oklahoma's primary economic anchors, with nearly two-thirds of Oklahomans living within their metropolitan statistical areas. These cities, collectively known as the Oklahoma Metropolitan Corridor, are included in the Texas Triangle megaregion.
The Comanche are a Native American group whose historical range (the Comancheria) consisted of present-day Eastern New Mexico, Southern Colorado, Southern Kansas, all of Oklahoma, and most of Northern and Southern Texas. There might once have been as many as 20,000 Comanches. Today, the Comanche Nation consists of approximately 10,000 members, about half of whom live in Oklahoma (centered at Lawton), with the remainder concentrated in Texas, California, and New Mexico.
There are various accounts of the origin of the name Comanche. Perhaps the most widely accepted is that it derives from Komantcia, a Spanish corruption of "Kohmahts", the Ute name for the people. "Kohmahts" is variously translated as "enemy", "those who want to fight (us)", "those who are against us", or "strangers". Alternatively the name may come from the Spanish camino ancho, meaning "wide trail". Early French and American explorers knew the Comanche as Padouca (or Paducah), their Siouan name. The Comanches' own preferred name is N
um un uu, meaning "the People". (Read more...)
Credit: Jack Dykinga
Oklahoma's state mammal, the American Bison.
Did you know...
- ...that Tulsa is often considered the birthplace of U.S. Route 66?
- ...that Oklahoma has the longest drivable stretch of Route 66 in the nation?
- ...that in 1927, Oklahoma businessman Cyrus Avery, known the "Father of Route 66," proposed using an existing stretch of highway from Amarillo, Texas to Tulsa for the original portion of Highway 66?
- ...that Oklahoman Cyrus Avery spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Highway 66 Association, the organization that oversaw the planning and creation of Route 66, and he placed the organization's headquarters in Tulsa?
- Nickname:The Sooner State
- Capital and largest city: Oklahoma City
- Governor: Kevin Stitt (R)
- Total area: 181,196 square kilometers (69,960 square miles)
- Population (2010 census): 3,751,351
- Date admitted to the Union: November 16, 1907
- Senators: Jim Inhofe (R), James Lankford (R)
- Representatives: Kevin Hern, Markwayne Mullin (R), Frank Lucas (R), Tom Cole (R), Kendra Horn (D)
The Scissortail Flycatcher, Oklahoma's state bird
William "Bill" Hader, born June 7, 1978 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is an Emmy- and Peabody award-winning American actor, comedian, writer, producer, and repertory player on Saturday Night Live.
He first appeared alongside Owen Wilson and Matt Dillon in You, Me and Dupree. Since then he's had a wide range of roles such as Katherine Heigl's editor at E! in Knocked Up, the acid-taking mechanic Dave in Hot Rod (alongside SNL castmate Andy Samberg), a recumbent biker in The Brothers Solomon (which featured SNL castmate Will Forte in one of the film's co-leading roles) and, most famously, as Officer Slater in the Judd Apatow produced Superbad. His role in Superbad helped boost his public awareness and allowed him to appear on mainstream programs like Total Request Live, The Tonight Show, and MTV's Video Music Awards.
Hader appeared in two other Apatow projects: Forgetting Sarah Marshall and Pineapple Express (with Seth Rogen). He appeared alongside Ben Stiller, Brandon T. Jackson, Jack Black, Robert Downey Jr., Matthew McConaughey, Steve Coogan, Jay Baruchel, Tom Cruise, and Nick Nolte in Tropic Thunder.
Hader lent his voice to the critically acclaimed 2009 Sony Pictures Animation film Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, playing the lead role of Flint Lockwood. He voiced a gazelle in "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. (Read more...)
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